Studio Art Discipline Assessment 2006-2007


Scope of assessment activities

         ___√__Course-embedded assessment

                     ___√___ Pre- and post-testing

         ___√_  Outside the classroom

         ___√_ Across the discipline

Direct measures of student learning

         ___√__ Capstone experience

         ___√__ Portfolio assessment

         ______ Standardized tests

         ______ Performance on national licensure, certification or

                     preprofessional exams

         ___√__ Qualitative internal and external juried review of

                     of comprehensive senior projects

         ___√__ Externally reviewed exhibitions and performances in

                     the arts

         ______ External evaluation of performance during internships


Discussion and Description

Discipline goals, direct measures, and improved student learning


         1. Studio art discipline goals

      Students will demonstrate a mastery of fundamental principles, formal strategies and technical skills in a variety of media and approaches to their use, as well as an understanding of relevant contemporary conceptual issues in the visual arts. This includes materials, techniques, the safe use of tools (for example, everything from paint brushes, potters tools, wheels, kilns, carpentry tools, and power tools, to printmaking presses and equipment), and the safe disposal of waste.

      Students will demonstrate a mastery of the skills of critical analysis of works of art and communication skills necessary for activities in the visual arts; this includes the ability to talk clearly, independently and thoughtfully about their own art as well as the art of others.

      Students will demonstrate a mastery of fundamental principles, formal strategies and skills in a variety of drawing, as well as an understanding of relevant traditional and contemporary conceptual issues in the medium.

      Students will demonstrate formal and conceptual competence in at least two disciplines in the studio arts, taking a one- and two-year sequence in two chosen media.

      Students will demonstrate knowledge of the major traditions and the cultural significance of the visual arts, an understanding of the historical and contemporary development of art and their place in it, and the relationship of art to self, culture, and society.


         2. Learning objectives and course work

         The assessment plan relates learning objectives to the studio art and art history courses where they will be met.


         3. Portfolios and course-embedded assessment

         The body of work produced by a student in a course is called the portfolio, which may then be graded. Course-embedded assessment relies heavily on critiques by the instructor alone, and by the instructor and class members together, with ongoing critiques being made as the portfolio grows in size from initial work to the entire body of work.


         4. Portfolios, assessment across the discipline, the junior and senior reviews

         The portfolio for junior and senior reviews is a selection of work from completed and in-progress courses, making its assessment an assessment across the discipline. The student provides an artist statement for use by the review committee, which is comprised of studio art and art history faculty. The committee uses a review sheet to rank the work from 1-10 in nine different categories under the three broad headings of formal concerns, technical concerns, and conceptual and communication skills,[1] and also provides written comments. Results of the review are given to the student, academic advisor, and discipline coordinator. The introduction of a uniform and consistent method of evaluating the junior and senior reviews dates back to a 2003 assessment.


         5. Pre- and post-testing

         Pre- and post-testing occurs in drawing classes for both majors and non-majors. Comparison of a drawing from the first day of instruction with a final drawing allows the faculty member to assess student improvement. Faculty member and student discuss the drawings.


         6. Outside the classroom, outside juror

         The studio art discipline has video and digital images dating from 1997 of the senior exhibit and all-student shows. This archived material is useful to students preparing exhibits. Since 2006 the discipline has used an outside juror to select works and write a statement for the annual show.


         7. Other course-embedded assessments and learning activities

         Quizzes, sketchbook exercises, response papers, class presentations, student-led discussions, group projects, and collaborative activities are used variously to assess the degree to which students have attained the disciplines learning objectives. Print exchanges with other universities allow the work of UMM printmakers to be compared with that done at the regional and national level.


         8. Assessment, improving student learning and the new capstone course

         Discipline assessment of learning objectives since 2003 has revealed four areas of concern that are being addressed.

      Students on average do better in the junior review than in the senior.[2] In response, the faculty has made the junior into a second year portfolio review, and integrated the senior review into the new capstone course, the senior art thesis.

      Students need more writing in the arts. The new capstone course has a writing component and there will be more writing in Basic Studio Drawing II.

      Students need more experience with framing and other exhibition skills. These experiences are part of the course description of the new capstone course.

      Students requested a major or minor emphasis in areas such as photography/digital imaging, drawing, and ceramics. These areas were added to the major in the spring of 2006.


General education categories spanned by the discipline


            Studio art courses all bear the ArtP, artistic performance, general education designator with the exception of a few courses bearing none (directed study, senior review, senior exhibit, senior thesis project).



[1] The report in the appendices has  biannual data for junior and senior reviews beginning in the fall of 2003 through the fall of 2006.

[2] Discussion abridged. See the assessment report in the appendices for more details.